Saturday, November 12, 2011

THE SISTER I NEVER HAD

Margie came into my life at a turning point. We were still children by society’s standards, but in today’s world we would have been looked at as something a little more. We weren’t small, innocent children, but we far from being experienced adults. We were thrown together during that awkward stage of life when very few things make sense. It was definitely a time of turmoil for both of us, but our friendship blossomed and somehow kept us both afloat. Although we both had “best friends” before, our friendship seemed to transcend the normal boundaries of friendship and crossed over into what I imagined sisterhood might be like.

Together, Margie and I looked like Mutt and Jeff. I was a tall, lanky legged preteen and Margie, a couple years older than me was much more developed. She was short and petite with long, silky, dark brown hair that formed a “V” as it draped down her back. Mine had been cut short because my mother thought the Twiggy look was cute. What I thought at the time was that my mother truly hated me and was trying to sabotage my whole femininity by branding me with a fate worse than death. It only reinforced those feelings of being unwanted. After all, I was supposed to be a boy, wasn't I? And what I ended up looking like was a shapeless preteen boy. It was then I vowed to never have short hair again.

As we spent much of our time contemplating the complexities of the opposite sex and thinking up creative ways to stay in trouble, we rarely opened up and discussed the issues that really held true urgency in our lives. Sometimes, people just can’t find the words for the horrors they’re living. Sometimes just getting through another day was all anyone could do. Yes, some things were certain...the sun was always going to rise, the winters would be extremely cold and Margie was always going to be there for me and I for her.

Oh, but how things can change as life takes its unexpected ups and downs and twists and turns. Not only can friendships change, but so can the ways people protect one another. I was never really a bad kid...spirited maybe and always quick to be the first to do anything. I always was eager to push the boundaries and test the limits of everything. Consequences never seemed to be foremost in my mind. As I grew so did my impaired judgment and my thirst to explore new things. My mischievous pranks gradually morphed into acts with serious outcomes. My friend, my newly found sister didn’t deserve to become another one of my ugly battle scars. I was sure of this. She deserved better. She deserved friends who could be strong and weather the storm with her. I really didn’t know how to protect her from the inevitable...my spiral down the path of addiction.

All it seemed I had to give as my life darkened was pain and disappointment. How could I be a rock when I was quickly stepping towards having a complete emotional shutdown? How could I save her when I no longer had the strength to save myself? When cancer claimed her mother's life, I knew I couldn’t be the person to comfort her. As I look back now, I remember little surrounding that actual event. By then I was gone...completely gone. I had nothing left to give. Would it be cruel to back away? Wouldn’t it be more sister-like to fade away into the oblivion I had found? I could spare her the agony of watching yet another slow demise and so I did. I faded away and Margie, like so many others was left with only nagging questions regarding my disappearance. Margie not only lost her mother, but she lost her closest friend as well. Now, many years later, a lifetime actually, we’ve been reunited. Although our lives took two completely different paths, the closeness we once shared immediately returned. What I discovered was that true friendship does withstand the test of time and distance and of pain and suffering. Just as hope springs eternal, so does true friendship and for that I am truly thankful.

12 comments:

  1. It’s not friends I concern myself with, it’s getting this trigger mechanism modified to a light touch so I can protect myself from assholes, and women from sexual predators. Your soul is too soft for this rock, GET A GUN.

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  2. WOW, BBC.....such negativity after such a loving, touching post. If you can't say something worth reading, go away. Your remarks are rude and insulting.

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  3. BBC, my soul may be too soft, but I think it reflects my capacity to love unconditionally and to remain unjudgmental even in the face of adversity. For some reason, I get the impression you think I oppose guns and that's not the case. I personally have never felt the need to own and carry one for protection, but I do stand in support of your right to bear arms if that's what you choose. Obviously, there is no room in your world for opposing views, but I believe the world would be pretty bland if everyone thought the same way. If at all possible from now on unless you suffer from ADHD or some type of "social" Tourette's Syndrome will you stay on the topic when I post something. Spouting off about guns on a heartfelt blog entry like this one doesn't paint you in a very positive light.

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  4. Linda, your "story" is coming up soon! I wonder what Margie will think about what I wrote.

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  5. What a wonderful story! I enjoyed every sentence. I too have reconnected with an old friend from childhood after fading away thirty years ago. I wish we could have been sisters too...I would have loved to have her parents also.

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  6. Adi, I enjoyed writing it. It's rare that we get the opportunity to right a wrong and rarer that when we do, the person we seek forgiveness from is willing and able to give us what we need most...love, understanding and forgiveness. I'm so glad you were able to experience the same kind of reunion I did. Have you been able to see each other in person?

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  7. What wrong was you trying to right! There was not any right or wrong as we were friends....Why, I don't think I will ever understand because we were as different as night and day. You the tall one, me short. You the busty one, me NOT...You the smart one, me...well...You the protector, me the protected. I only know I saw something in you that I didn't in my shall I call them fair weather friends. I should of sat back and relaxed knowing you would be the one to find me after all these years. But I sure gave it a whirl. I only wish Id of delved deeper with you back then as I was, as you say finding a way to cope with what was going on in my own life. The life and times we shared as kids was a true ride chock full of good memories. Our differences as children remain the same but now it is adult level. Politics, religion, etc...The differences are probably what made our friendship and respect is the glue. It was not by chance that you found me after all this time. I was at a low and there you was out of the blue. What a smile that put on my face. I believe there is a reason for our reconnection. Have no idea what, but I do. This life is far to short and we have missed a lot in between. But we have a beginning and we will make it through the end because your right as usual this friendship has stood the test of time...I love you for who you are Karen Joy :)

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  8. What a nice feeling to both laugh and cry at the same time! From you, I'll accept the name Karen Joy even though it's Ovaltine or Jimmy or NMN. Oh hell, I like Karen Joy better.

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  9. Mildred - a wonderful post! It must be the season for it because I have been reconnecting with old friends (and blogging about it LOL) lately. It is a wonderful feeling to know that the love you have carried in your heart for someone has a matching love in theirs... I often think with fondness of old friends, people I may never see again, and yet lately my old friends have come through in spades!

    Cheers to you and Margie for sticking to the essence of why you are important to each other and for letting it flourish again.

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  10. Displaced: Perhaps as the planets align, great and wonderful things will happen all over the world. Now, that thought brought a smile to my face even though is was a little "heady" for first thing on Sunday morning. Cheers to everyone who has been reunited with an old friend.

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  11. I'm getting a warm fuzzy feeling. Great post. I have a friend I miss a lot, but we are a universe away due to family issues...I keep hope alive that one day...one day...but we have already lost so much that it is perhaps just bittersweet placebo for a too-one-sided relationship. For us, an emotional attack that left alone so long it is but dead tissue.

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  12. Diane: Hope springs eternal and where true friendships are concerned anything is possible.

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